TD Bank and Live Oak Bank are both attractive lenders to businesses searching for the perfect small business loan. For TD Bank, its accessibility to funding without a minimum time in business requirement makes it an appealing option for startups. But Live Oak Bank’s experience in SBA loans can benefit businesses seeking government-backed financing.

We’ll discuss each lender’s offerings and how certain businesses can benefit from either option to find the best small business loan.

Key takeaways

  • TD Bank and Live Oak both offer government-backed and commercial business loans
  • TD Bank does not have a time in business requirement
  • Live Oak can provide expedited SBA loan processing as a part of the SBA Preferred Lender Program
  • Choose TD Bank for startup funding
  • Choose Live Oak for SBA loans

TD Bank vs. Live Oak at a glance

TD Bank offers four loan products that cater to startups and established firms with collateral. Live Oak offers three loan products ideal for businesses seeking government-backed loans. Both lenders can provide significant borrowing amounts, but Live Oak borrowers can get up to $15 million and term lengths of up to 25 years.

TD Bank Live Oak Bank
Bankrate Score 3.8 3.0
Best for Startups SBA loans
Number of loan products 4 3
Loan amounts $10,000 to $5 million $150,000 to $15 million
Interest rates Prime + 0.74% APR Varies based on loan type
Term lengths 1 to 25 years Up to 25 years
Personal credit score Not stated 650
Minimum time in business N/A Not stated
Minimum business revenue N/A Not stated

TD Bank business loans

TD Bank offers a few different business loan options. It doesn’t impose a minimum time in business requirement, so its secured loans, lines of credit, mortgages and SBA loans are suitable for startups and established firms.

Online applications are available for loans under $250,000, but applications for higher amounts must be completed in person at a TD Bank branch. Choosing this lender can mean quick access to funds, and TD offers a rate discount for business account holders who set up auto-pay. That said, TD does charge origination fees and is only available in 15 states and Washington, D.C.

Pros

  • Interest rate discount
  • Rapid loan processing
  • Loan amounts up to $5 million

Cons

  • Loans over $250,000 require an in-person application
  • Origination fee
  • Limited availability

Live Oak business loans

Businesses interested in SBA loans, USDA loans or customizable commercial loans may find Live Oak Bank a suitable option. Loans range from $150,000 to $15 million, but Live Oak only works with fair-to-excellent-credit businesses operating in certain industries, so it’s not an option for all businesses.

Live Oak is best known for its SBA loans, including 7(a) and 504 loans, which typically offer longer repayment terms of up to 25 years and affordable rates, although Live Oak doesn’t advertise its rates.

Like other members of the SBA Preferred Lender Program, Live Oak can make credit decisions in-house, which expedites the loan approval process by up to four weeks. However, funding takes an average of 60 days for SBA loans.

Pros

  • Available nationwide
  • SBA Preferred Lender
  • Loans up to $15 million

Cons

  • Available to limited industries
  • No option to prequalify online
  • Lack of transparency with lending requirements

How to choose between TD Bank and Live Oak

When choosing a small business lender, take a look at each lender’s eligibility requirements along with your qualifications and needs. TD Bank suits startups seeking less than $250,000 in funding, while Live Oak excels at SBA loans, which have favorable terms and rates.

Choose TD Bank for startup funding

Newer businesses hoping to secure financing stand a good chance of getting approved for a startup business loan with TD Bank. While most online and alternative lenders are open to approving businesses with a minimum of six months in operation, banks tend to be stricter, requiring a minimum of two years.

Despite the requirement of collateral for term loans and lines of credit, TD Bank has no minimum time in business requirements, making it accessible to startups and established businesses to use for various business purposes.

Choose Live Oak for SBA loans

Live Oak stands out as the better option for businesses interested in SBA loans. As an SBA Preferred Lender, they can make in-house decisions, which accelerates loan processing and approval, typically shaving off three to four weeks.

Additionally, like other government-backed loans, SBA loans allow borrowers to enjoy extended repayment terms and lower interest, which isn’t always an option with non-SBA lenders.

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Bankrate insight
According to the SBA’s lender report, as of July 24, 2023, Live Oak has approved 894 loans with an average loan size of $1,479,739. In comparison, TD Bank has approved 2,840 loans, with an average loan size of $119,948.

Alternatives

Aside from TD Bank and Live Oak, other lenders have the potential to meet your business needs. Startups and newer businesses may want to consider a nationwide lender like Fora Financial or QuickBridge.

Fora Financial requires a minimum credit score of 500, at least three months in operation and $12,000 in monthly revenue or $144,000 annually. Quickbridge requires a minimum credit score of 650, at least six months in operation and $250,000 annually.

Not only do you want to consider different lenders, but also explore their lending options, including business credit cards or business lines of credit. Either option can be beneficial, providing a revolving business line of credit for daily business expenses while building and improving credit. As a bonus, some may offer rewards and cashback programs.

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Bankrate insight
Other SBA loan options exist, such as microloans and Community Advantage loans. Microloans offer businesses funding up to $50,000, while Community Advantage loans focus on helping underserved communities. 

Bottom line

Choosing between TD Bank and Live Oak for your business lending needs requires considering their strengths along with your business needs. TD Bank caters to startups, while Live Oak is best known for being an SBA Preferred Lender. Opting for the wrong lender can negatively impact your business’s growth and financial stability, so it is important to make the right decision.

Frequently asked questions


  • Yes, Live Oak is an SBA Preferred Lender, which means credit decisions are made in-house, resulting in faster approval of SBA loans.

  • TD Bank does not disclose its interest rates, but they vary based on the loan product, credit score and other lender requirements.

  • Due to the strict requirements for credit score, revenue and time in business imposed by banks, certain businesses may have a hard time getting approved for a business loan.